The Beggars Of Ratcliffe Fair

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As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was John, and his wife’s name was Jumping Joan; So there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Richard, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Richard; So there was Richard, and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Robert, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Robert; So there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Rice, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Rice; So there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Jones, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Jones; So there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Lloyd, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Lloyd; So there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Owen, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Owen; So there was Owen and Mrs. Ap Owen, And there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Lewin, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Lewin; So there was Lewin and Mrs. Ap Lewin, And there was Owen and Mrs. Ap Owen, And there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Shenkyn, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Shenkyn; So there was Shenkyn and Mrs. Ap Shenkyn, And there was Lewin and Mrs. Ap Lewin, And there was Owen and Mrs. Ap Owen, And there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

As I went to Ratcliffe Fair, there I met with a jolly beggare, Jolly beggare, and his name was Howell, and his wife’s name was Mrs. Ap Howell; So there was Howell and Mrs. Ap Howell, And there was Shenkyn and Mrs. Ap Shenkyn, And there was Lewin and Mrs. Ap Lewin, And there was Owen and Mrs. Ap Owen, And there was Lloyd and Mrs. Ap Lloyd, And there was Jones and Mrs. Ap Jones, And there was Rice and Mrs. Ap Rice, And there was Robert and Mrs. Ap Robert, And there was Richard and Mrs. Ap Richard, And there was John and Jumping Joan, Merry companions every one.

This singular accumulative tale produces great amusement amongst children when rapidly repeated. Mr. Chambers, p. 197, has given a Scotch version, very different from the above, commencing–

The first time that I gaed to Coudingham fair, I fell in with a jolly beggar; The beggar’s name O it was Harry, And he had a wife, and they ca’d her Mary: O Mary and Harry, and Harry and Mary, And Janet and John, That’s the beggars one by one; But now I will gie you them pair by pair, All the brave beggars of Coudingham fair.

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